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helped in that. >> after a standoff that lasted all week, the strategic town of ajdabiya has fallen to the rebels accordsing to both rebel and local forces. rebels are celebrating n streets, we're told, and pro gadhafi forces have been seen retreating westward about 50 miles to the oil port of brega. they said their planes would strike gadhafi tanks until gadhafi pulled back from that town. gadhafi had refused to do that. way here to tripoli. w phllhe and for the first time in weeks, gadhafi forces are on their back foot. meanwhile, there were strikes overnight here in tripoli. though they were quite distance.
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and again, there was not that barrage of anti-fire that we had heard earlier in the week. and in that other town we cover a lot these days, with it's also, by the way, on that list of towns gadhafi must pull back from. misrata received its first shipment of supplies in weeks, even though the city continues to be she would by gadhafi tanks and hit by snipers which were on a number of rooftops in the city. six people, including three dinner reportedly have been killed in the past 24 hours, at least according to rebel sources. there have been some nato air strike owes some gadhafi tanks around misrata, but that city is still up for grabs. meanwhile, gadhafi has not been seen here since wednesday, though he did release a statement late last night promoting all the military and police officers for their here rowism and bravery. now it probably was attached to -- which is how this regime
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usually holds on to its loyalty. alex. >> thank you, jim, for that. president obama says it's not always up to the u.s. to step in when there's turmoil overseas. but in a preview to his national address on monday, the president says the current crisis in libya demands america's attention. >> the united states should not and cannot intervene every time there's a crisis somewhere in the world. but i firmly believe that when innocent people are being brutalized, when someone like gadhafi threatens a bloodbath that could destabilize a national region, then it's in our national interest to act. >> nbc's mike viqueira is our national correspondent on alex. >> what prompted the president to speak out on monday? >> after criticism from the left and the right, democrats and republicans here in washington. the president is suffering from two perceptions here, alex.
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first, this came very suddenly. usually when americans start to see tomahawks flying off or airplanes in flight drops dropping smart bombs, it comes after weeks if not months of debate. there was no such -- there was no such action. secretary of state hillary clinton was in paris last weekend for a summit. no one was really expecting anything to happen right at that moment. but just as those leaders were sitting down, french war planes were in the air and the white house said they had to do this. benghazi, the second largest city in libya had been under siege. the white house says if they could not acted, in fact, the president said this today, that thousands would have been killed. another perception that the white house is suffering from is that there is no clear end game here and that has been the primary criticism coming from the republican speaker of the house, john boehner. the goals are ambiguous. when will we know this is over? what happened if the coalition,
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some 29 countries and entities involved start to disagree? who will take the lead? the white house points to an agreement by nato yesterday to take over control of the no-fly zone and a political agreement to look at the other aspect of this and that is protecting civilians on the ground. nato expected to take that over, as well. so die verging goals here. the american administration unilaterally says gadhafi must go. that is not the goal of the nato council being enforced there. that is causing some criticism. >> mike, i want to be clear. just because nato assumes command and control, that does not mean u.s. fighter jets are taken out of the sky, correct? >> that is correct. and all along, there's been ambiguity about just what it means to lead. the united states was not in the lead. we've heard various other explanations about the u.s. role. it had to be front load says the white house because, after all,
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we have those tomahawks, those cruise missiles, we have the armaments and assets that can be brought to bear. then the european allies and others and we should note that the united arab emirates and others are taking more of a role up front now. but yes, even after this transition, u.s. war planes will be in the air under nato auspices. >> thank you very much, mike viqueira, at the white house. an activist says syria has released 70 prisoners today but has made nearly 200 new arrests. the new arrests come one day after tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets in multiful cities. this is amateur video appearing on youtube and it shows protesters defacing a picture. over why yemen, thousands of protesters held massive rallies yesterday in the capital. some calling for president saleh
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to step down. saleh says he is ready to step down, but only if he can leave the country in what he calls safe hands. in just a few minutes, we'll talk to an expert on how changes could affect the u.s. and especially focusing on yemen. a development in the battle to prevent radiation from leaking from the nuclear reactor in japan. the news comes just a day after safety officials say they suspect a dangerous breach in the core of one reactor. workers are now switching to fresh water as they try to cool the reactors. they say the salty sea water they were using before could cause corrosion and clog up pipes. barges are helping to bring in more fresh water. and new numbers on the extent of the tragedy. the official death toll has surpassed 10,000 with 17,000 people who remain missing. nbc's lee cowen is live for us in tokyo. what are officials say about the high radiation levels detected
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in the sea waters near the plant? that has to be cause for concern. >> it is, alex. it's still below levels they say are harmful, but it's the second time the radiation levels have spiked and this time it's more than 1,000 times what it should be. that's going to spark monitoring systems along the coastline far more than the systems that are already in place. the higher than normal concentration of iodine in sea water is the latest worry for those struggling to get the nuclear plant stabilized. the levels are more than 1,000 times near the legal limit. only increasing fears of what that may do to the fishery. the news follows word yesterday that radioactive water inside unit number three had been leaking, either from the reactor itself or the pumping system. a fact discovered after workers inadvertently stepped into that contaminated pool this week, exposing their skin to 10,000
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times the normal radiation levels. the owners of the plant apologized today, saying that it knew radiation in the water at unit one had spiked but did i not didn't disclose that until after the workers in unit three had been exposed. it was a revelation that anchored the japanese government who today called on them to be more forthcoming with its information. that's a common refrain these days. i'll worry until these reactors are completely sealed with concrete, this woman said. i'd like to evacuate from here, but that's easier said than done. the human toll two weeks into this crisis continues to mount with at least 27,000 people either dead or missing. mass graves are being dug out of necessity, going against the japanese custom of cremation. but there's no other choice. in tokyo, residents watched the wind as much as the news, but they try to carry on as best they can. alex, a little bit of good news in that you talked about that fresh water that the u.s. is
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helping to bridge in by barge just because they switched from using saltwater which they thought could be corrosive. the salt crystals can cling to the rods themselves and prevent them from cooling very well. the fresh water they say that they've been injecting into those reactors has been working much better, it seems, and in some of those reactors, at least, the pressure and the heat are stable at this point. >> yeah. you know what, lee? i'm curious, are they concerned that the saltwater has actually potentially corroded the encasement of the rods? i'm looking at common sense here. we look at our horrible potholes in our roads here as a result of the salt and the effect it's had on the asphalt. you have to think the salt has been able to eat away at that which is supposed to be protecting those rods. >> it's only been two weeks. i don't think it's necessarily corrosion but it's the salt
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crystals themselves. if it does, then that makes the cooling water that would spin around those rods, that doesn't work with as well because it's not encased in something. it's almost like keeping it dry in some ways. but obviously, if they keep pumping in that saltwater after a certain amount of time, the pump and the pipe and everything else is designed tore saltwater. certainly corrosion will take effect at some point. >> lee, thanks so much for tokyo for us. winter is on in the pacific northwest. it's refusing to let go. the nevada mountains, closing parts of inter state 80, that region has seen more than 58 feet of snow this year. it's approaching the record 65 feet that nevada got in 1950. for more on the forecast, let's go to nbc meernlth bill karins. >> good saturday morning to you, alex. the cold blast is one of the
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lead stories in the weather world. this country continues to fell like mid february than mid march. if you want the real mild, spring like air, that's down in florida along the gulf back into texas. for today's forecast, only 37 with sunshine today in boston. new york, only 40 and sunshine. those some wintry type weather moving around the kansas city area. so watch out for freezing rain. once temperatures warm up above that, things should be okay on the roads. kansas city, 35. dallas at 85. here is how the weekend forecast shapes up. the storm system that's bringing thunderstorms to north texas, arkansas, louisiana, that's going to slide today through the southeast in areas of alabama, mississippi and tennessee, off the east coast by sunday. out west within we have a pretty big storm bringing heavy rain this morning into areas of california and the mountain snow. one or two feet is likely there. one area that we have to watch for a tiny bit of snow saturday night into sunday morning is
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areas of virginia. alex, this is the time of year that the cherry blossom festival begins. there's a slight chance of snow in washington, d.c. shouldn't cancel anything there. but it makes for a nice picture. you get the cherry blossoms covered in with a coating of snow. back to you. >> bill karins, thanks so much for that. big changes and new rules for pilots in the air traffic control tower. caught in an avalanche, a camera on the helmet of a skier shows how he managed to escape that danger. and michelle bachmann, and a talk that she's considering a run for the white house. is this for real? ♪ [ fingers snapping ] [ woman announcing ] every subaru is responsibly built in a zero landfill plant.
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in libya this morning, with the help of allied tanks bombing opposition tanks, rebels took over the city of ajda by-ya. now, despite this, the u.s. ambassador to libya has cautioned america is not directly backing the rebels. >> there are visions of what a future libya would look like and it has all the right elements in the in terms of human rights, in terms of women's rights, in terms of equal participation. it was really a very, very good document. so from what we know and what we've seen over the past month, i think they're off to a good start. that is not to say that we know everything about them. we don't. >> good morning, steven.
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>> good morning. >> so that statement there that america is not directly backing the rebels, really? if we're not backing the rebels, what are we doing? >> well, i understand what the ambassador is trying to say, which is that we don't really know what we would like to know. it's dim low mattock speak, but it makes absolutely no sense. we have to be on the side of the opposition in this case, but recognize the opposition may move in any number of directions. as i told a human rights activist in the united states the other day, they keep talking about some of the really great people that are on the opposition transition council in
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libya. i told them if they don't have some strong men in there, they'll get eaten alive in a libyan environment. >> we know the rebels retook a key city today. kwha is your assessment of the situation so far? >> this is a gateway city to the east. it is one that was vital when the opposition took that city to begin with before they were rolled back. it was what led many american policymakers to think that this was going be a situation in which gadhafi would be cornered and most of the country would be in opposition's hands. now, in a sail mate, we're beginning to see the sail mate break and this is huge and positive news for the opposition. now they need to begin looking at some of these other coastal cities and figuring out how to separate and disaggregate the gadhafi forces from the civilian population because they're in so
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close. that will be tough for in addition nato. nato will be discussing tomorrow taking on that role and how it actually does it, but it's real vital. >> what does victory look like from the coalition's point of view? is it just ensuring civilian safety? is it rebels assuming power? is it driving out gadhafi? i know they stated that that is not, from the u.s. perspective, the intended goal. >> there's a lot of blurriness about what that looks like. fundamentally, they would like to see a cessation of hostilities, an environment in which the civilian population is now really safe. the thing is, when one thinks about that, that has to mean unplug gadhafi and his franchise and getting him out of the war business and that can only really happen if he's out of the country. so people, you know, in nato and other countries beyond barack obama seem to be hesitant to say that they want gadhafi gone and out, but there's no equation that i can see right now given all that's been thrown at this
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where gadhafi can stay in power and the equation of safety and civilian safety, you know, remain clear. >> so then, steven, what do you think is behind reports about members of gadhafi's regime reaching outs to mediators? do you think they're looking for a diplomatic solution? do you think they're looking for an end game for gadhafi that would happen, lead libya into exile somewhere? >> i think all of that could be on the table and i think it's very smart to try and keep a pathway out, to keep the door open to talking about different scenarios. i think smun of those scenarios can include gadhafi staying. that's my view. but it's much easier to get a dictator, some particularly a strong man with a lot of military capacity at hits control. fighting him out can lead to a lot of loss of life and further damage to the country and damage to our other core interests in the region.
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so if you can seduce that person out and move them to a different country, i think that would be ideal in this case. and hopefully it's something that gadhafi command staff would consider. >> you mentioned the region there. listen to what's happening. massive demonstrations in syria. our action in leadership libya, steven, how does that bring our policy in these other places? >> well, i think it's going to raise a lot of questions of where we'll act and where we won't. there is a tsunami going on throughout the region. while i agree that president obama needed to act in this case to safe thousands of lives that otherwise would have been massacred, i think we need to keep our exposure very limited because we don't know where things will go. egypt right now has gone through a somewhat successful
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revolution, continues to have access and a vital region. libya may be important to us right now, but egypt is ten times more important. we're distracted by the fish in our hands now and we're not looking at this other big challenge that we have over just next door. and i think that we have to be careful of bandwidth, of being careful, as president obama said in his radio address, there will be times, a country by country basis, where american forces and presence may be justified, but there will be other times where they won't. and i think you'll see more cases where we are involved than where we aren't. >> until gadhafi is ousted, are you concerned about al qaeda influencing the leadership depth there? >> i am. yemen is one of the places i am genuinely concerned about. it is the place where there is a clear obama wanna be and the biggest franchise of an activist and very potent al qaeda-like operation that is, i think, much more interfacially significant
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and harmful than even the al qaeda that we've seen between the pakistan and afghanistan borders. so i think this level of unrest in yemen is something that we could determine. yemen was a fragile state before all of isbegan. we were trying to help saleh arm, to do the deal making in his couny to hold it together. that's coming undone. and it's really unclear to me who he could pass power off to. he said he won't pass power off to the military. and the military in yemen is a different kind of military backbone than what you've seen in egypt. so i think that yemen runs this risk of a very horrible civil war situation where it seems to be on the verge of already. and there are 4 million or 5 million yemenis in saudi arabia. this could get very, very messy beyond yemen's borders. what to expect if congresswoman michelle bachmann plans to run for the white house. plus, a video of a mountain
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michelle bachmann appears to be making a move towards the white house. take a listen. >> we have been inching closer. we've been making trips to the various primary states to talk about the conversation about 2012. if we do make that decision, and we are making a serious consideration. if we do make a decision, we're looking at probably the early part of summer. >> manu, a good morning to you. first question out of the gate, is bachmann for real? >> republicans are definitely taking her seriously. she'll have a narrow path to victory, no doubt about it, because she appeals to a narrow part of the republican base. but she is a formidable
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fund-raiser. she raised more than $13 million for her house rate last year, far more than any other republican candidate in iowa, which is aat k o t t there consider herself evangelical. she's a born-again christian. she talks about those issues. especially if mike huckabee or sarah palin do not get into the race, she could appeal to that base and it could help her in a race for the nomination. >> after her problematic response to the state of the union, congressman bachmann had another online bust. she had, in fact, cut short her hour long facebook town hall due to bad audio. listen. there. >> all of our facebook fans, i apologize for the noise in the background. this is live. that is water fall noise that you're hearing in the background. >> the water fall noise was
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drowning out her message. >> she's gap prone and that's something that the media will be all over her for. she's not tested on the national stage. that's the thing. she would have -- be able to target and tap into a pool of voters who love her, but the question is, will she be able to broaden beyond that? and if she makes mistakes on the campaign trail like that, it will be hard for her to do that. >> good to talk with you. thank you. >> thank you. key testimony today for the american student appealing her murtd conviction in italy. we have a live report coming up. as low as 4.75% at, where customers save an average of $293 a month. call lending tree at... today. [ man ] ♪ trouble ♪ trouble, troubl trouble, trouble ♪
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those forces. after a week of fieding in ajdabiya, rebel forces drove government forces out of that city. >> through the desert, behind the rebel's front line, we follow a secret convoy to bring water and fuel to the people of acknowledge dab ya, a rebel city still held by gadhafi forces. we reach ajdabiya's eastern gates. it's controlled by rebels and a tattered flag. acknowledge dab ya is mostly deserted, an urban war zonurban. just fighting threw. through a broken gate, we enter his home. it was badly damaged by gadhafi's troops. this is shrapnel from the tank round that hit his house and
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went right in this room. and the fighting isn't over. outside, we hear gunfire. gadhafi's troops are just a few blocks away. we see rebels running, advancing. firing behind a wall. >> there is fighting in the streets in ajdabiya. we take cover behind a bus as rebels try to push out gadhafi forces that still hold pockets of this city. it's hard to know where the bullets are coming from. the rebels reload, hide behind whatever wall they can find and push forward. the rebels remain highly motivated opinion our goal is to free this city and all of libya from tyranny. acid we leave acknowledge dabby,
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we see hundreds more fighters pouring in. this is a british war plane launching devastating attacks on gadhafi's tanks near ajdabiya. the combination of air power and reinforcement proves decisive. this morning, rebels recapture ajdabiya, the first significant process since the western military campaign began. richard engle, nbc news, ajdabiya. >> we're going to go with ajdabiya. meantime, in there is still no clear word on when america will take a back seat. discussions are still continuing over when nato will take over the ground attacks. joining me now, retired army general montgomery me ggs. >> good to be with you today. >> i'm curious where we stand in terms of the fight of this
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mission. what do you think? >> i think things are going according to hand, with really. setting up a new chain of command under nato is nothing particularly new. it takes time because you have 28 members and anyone who says no can slow the process down and get their input into the consens consensus. that's nothing news to us. i think the people that will be taking command will be very capable. i think this is an important point in the campaign where things are really going in the opposition's way. >> okay. but general, this should in no way imply that the u.s. involvement is different, or does this mean that we rapture things down? our u.s. fighter jets will be in the sky along with our planes and tomahawk missiles, correct? >> to some extent. i think you'll see the u.s. coming away from the actual strike missions and more into reconnaissance and electronic warfare, though american
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airplanes will be available if there's any kind of increase in the pace that has to be done operationally from air to ground or air to air defense. >> okay. but general, with this no-fly zone in place, certainly the air defenses have been crippled libya's army, but we're w we're launching ground attacks now. when does the military portion of this end and it becomes just maintenance? >> that's a great question. you don't know at this point. none of the people in command know. the politicians don't know. it's very hard to sit here and sort of talk on tv to the folks that are watching and say, look, here is the end state, here is what it's going to look like. there are so many things going on that you really have to try and read the momentum. and right now, the momentum is good. we've had a very successful air campaign so far. the gadhafi forces are in retreat. it's a good opportunity here for people to reach out toga
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definitefy's tribe and say, hey, this guy is dush need to help him leave. and general, when you talk about that mentality, do you expect members of the libyan army to defect? they look at it being a no-win situation. you say they're in retreat now. much of their military efforts have been drippeled. do you think that is likely? >> well, not just yet. there's a very strong travel bond here and gadhafi has done a very good job of ensuring that he's got plenty of patronage to keep people on board. once the tribal elders see him as a liability, for instance, the tribe is a very powerful tribe with his own tribe which would be the last to go. then he's out of the game. >> okay. with regard to the timing, i know no one can predict, but we do have nato having said they believe the operation is going to last about three months. does that mean the u.s. will be involved that long or can you
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conceive an environment in which the u.s. can actually completely back off prior to the end of this operation? >> we're a member of nato, if nato is doing a mission in harm's way, we're going to be a part of it. so in a reduced, and less visible way. >> are you concerned at all that we might be stretched a bit too thin given iraq, afghanistan? >> well, i think that's one of the reasons the u.s. has made it clear that they don't want to be providing all the strike missions and all the huge chunk of the chain of command. i think that what we will dial back to will be sustainable. though, you know, it's going to be stressful on the navy and the air force, but we traditionally kept forces in the mediterranean. we've got a lot of bases along the southern rim of europe. i think this is manageable and i agree with you, i don't think we can put a line in the dirt as to when this thing is going to be over. >> okay. general montgomery megs, great
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to see you. >> you bet. a russian is hospitalized with an eight inch wound after being attacked by a shark off the coast of cancun. in hong kong, an american woman who drugged her banker husband with a milkshake and bulgeoned him to death was convicted in a second trial friday. the jury delivered a unanimous verdict. attorneys forp nancy kissle argued she was a battered wife. her conviction was overturned last year because prosecutors improperly examined her. now, it was testified in court that joran van der sloot has lied about the conditions that led to the murder of a peruvian woman. police say florress never saw such information on a laptop and the dutchman was arguing he was temporarily insane after he became angry. if accepted, the temporary
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insanity plea to shorten his sentence to 3 to 5 years. >> so now let's turn to the appeal of amanda knox. nbc's keith miller is live for us in italy with the latest. keith, what can you tell us about a key witness apparently taking the stand in her case? >> well, a remarkable session in court today, alex, where the key witness was called back to the stand. this is an appeal hearing and where he was the man actually who said he saw amanda knox and her former boyfriend at the scene of the crime at the time that meredith kircher was murdered and sexually assaulted and that was within amanda knox's apartment. it turns out he was asked his address and he replied prison. he's in prison on drug charges. they asked him, were you on drugs that night that you claim to have seen these people? he said he was on heroine.
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although he doesn't believe he was hallucinating. what made his testimony even more incredulous is that he has been a key prosecution witness in at least three serious crimes going to court. the judge was not happy with him. the defense attorneys decided not to question him at all. they sat back and basically looking at him as if, well, you've just blown the prosecution's case. >> that is absolutely fascinating to say that, yeah, i'm a drug addict on heroine, but i don't think i was hallucinating at the time. interesting distinction trying to be made there. independent experts reviewing evidence, they have found very low traces of this dna on this knife that was allegedly used to murder knox's roommate. is there enough dna to figure out if it is amanda knox's? >> if we're getting this right from italian news sources primarily and the state news agency, they're saying that the independent forensic scientist who reported back that there is
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not enough dna on the alleged knife used in the murder to tie it to amanda knox or to the victim, meredith kircher. and also the bloody bra clasp that apparently had the fingerprint of her boyfriend on it, they say that has did he deteriorated. there's nothing there at all. they won't be reporting back until next month. but if this holds up, it could be a home run, if you will, for amanda knox because the prosecution relied on the dna evidence to convict her. the defense all along said there wasn't enough to convict her and, in fact, we still have amanda knox proclaiming her innocence. >> all right. keith, thank you so much. an oregon man skiing in british columbia was caught in an avalanche this week and the whole ordeal was caught on video by his helmet cam. >> avalanche! avalanche! avalanche! >> scary, huh?
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well, the skier says that experience was like being in the ocean and he was fine afterwards, but he was not able to find his skis. under control, the new rules for pilots and air traffic controllers after a disturbing innocent in the skies. fast food fight, a woman loser her cool when her food doesn't come quickly enough. the pictures in our next hour. we all have one. that perfect spot. a special place we go to smooth out the ripples of the day. it might be off a dock or on a boat. upstream or in the middle of nowhere.
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and here's what we did today in homes all across america: we created the electricity that powered the alarm clocks and brewed the coffee. we heated the bathwater and gave kelly a cleaner ride to school. cooked the cube steaks and steamed the veggies. entertained dad, and mom, and a neighbor or two. kept watch on the house when they slept. and tomorrow we could do even more. we're cleaner, domestic, abundant and ready now. we're america's natural gas. the smarter power today. learn more at
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the faa has announced it's changing procedures after an air traffic controller fell asleep while on staff this week. the controllers are to confirm there is someone there prepared to handle the incoming flights. those changes came about after two airlineses landed safely wo sleeping. the latest census data shows surprising information about how the u.s. population has grown in the last decade.
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that data shows considerable shifts in the population of hispanics and african-americans. i'm joined now by can keating. good morning to you, dan. >> morning. >> so what is some of the most eye-popping data that you saw until the census results? >> well, i mean, the most obvious thing is that 50% of the nation's growth came with hispanics. many major states like illinois, new jersey, illinois, massachusetts would have shrunk if not for the expanding growth in those states. that's the thing that stands out the most is that, you know, without that hispanic growth, a lot of places would be shrinking. >> that's interesting. now, in terms of getting the data, is it exclusively on mailers or is this some interpretive analysis that helps produce these nebs? >> well win mean, they september out these forms to every single household and expected them to fill them out last april 1st. so the census is required by the constitution. they expect to get every single
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household in the entire country and every house that doesn't return one, they send people out to the house, knock on the door. they hired a lot of people to do that. so the idea is that it's a true, 100% count and they've gone there and counted at every house. it's not perfect. they used some statistics to fill in. essentially, they are trying to count every person. >> wow. now, these results show that in addition to what you say about the his panics, half the growth, overall, 90% of u.s. population growth in the past decade. how do you explain this phenomenon? >> a lot of it is because the immigrants and his panics, asian are having more children. so between immigration and having more children, when you look at the kind of classical, traditional family idea, a married couple with children, increasingly, that is in asian or his ppanic, more like will
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knowly th knowly. and the country is changing that way. within maybe about 30 years, nonhispanic whites will be be the majority group in the country. there won't be any majority in terms of ethnic or race. it will be more of a mix. >> by new york state senior senator chuck schumer, he said he was shocked at the numbers. brooklyn i said went up in terms of population by 1% in change. he said this as you have all sorts of high rise buildings being built to accommodate all the housing in the in the area, it doesn't add up. are there areas that don't add up in your mind? >> i have not done a full comparison yet to try to look at exactly where things are right and wrong. we've been trying to digest most of what's coming out so far. after every census, a lot of places claim that it didn't count all of their people. so that review will take place over the next several months. and places are very seeingtory make sure they are fully counted
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because this is used for federal funding and obviously for voting. so there's a lot of reasons why they want to be counted and states appeal all the time. the district of columbia appealed a few years ago and got census to change its figures. utah appealed after the 2,000 census. so there probably will be appeals and, you know, reviews on that. >> dan keating with "the washington post," thank you, dan. >> thank you. libyan rebels gained control of an important city. it's the first major turn around since the military action began. is this the sign it was the right thing to do? we'll ask a member of congress, next. with fruit juice. what? yeah, it's on the label. really? here, there's nothing about juice on the zyrtec® label. what? labels are meant to be read. i'd be lost without you. i knew you weren't allergic to me. [ sneezes ] you know, you can't take allegra with orange juice. both: really? fyi. [ male announcer ] get zyrtec®'s proven allergy relief and love the air®.
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we are following some new developments in libya this moing where the rebels have capture today a key city from gadhafi forces. this is brand new video of rebels celebrating in ajdabiya after they retook that city from da r gadhafi's air strikes. one rebel said, without the planes, we could not have done this.
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democratic congress robert andrews represents new jersey's first district and serves on the house as far ass committee. welcome and good morning to you, sir. thanks for joining pups. >> good morning, alex. >> i know you have said that the president should have conferred with congress before sending appear to you that the air strikes have been a success so fa >>nkt'initleoe a ccs ca e coitn'porisst an gadhafi's. but the real question is do we equate victory of the rebels with success for the american agenda? i'm not sure that we do that. what does a victory mean for america in this circumstance? >> well, i guess a question also would be the threat to military and domestic are national security here versus this being a humanitarian mission, talk about the difference and where do you see the tipping point? >> first of all, the tipping point comes from building a national consensus for that humanitarian mission, which i think would have required going
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to the congress of the united states. second would require distinguishing this humanitarian mission from others. there's news this morning, and you reported it, that syrian troops are opening fire on peaceful protesters. are they next? how do you distinguish many other areas in the world where there's violence against innocent people and justify the indifference? >> i know the president said apparently there was a block of people being targeted by moammar gadhafi that numbered about 700,000, so the potential for mass civilian brutality and casualty sess there. that is one of the tipping points, if you will, for the administration doing this. but in terms of the timing, had the president not been part of this coalition, might more people have died? the timing here, you can't wait when you're dealing with a mad man like gadhafi. >> well, of course, he didn't wait and correctly the
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administration went to the u.n. security council and was engaged in discussions there. why weren't those same discussions taking place with the u.n. congress simultaneous with the u.n. discussions? in other words, there was time to go to the u.n. why wasn't there time to go to the u.s. congress? that's the question a lot of us are asking. >> how about the president monday evening addressing the nation in this prime time address, has he addressed your concerns over libya? has he made a case at this point? >> you know, i think he probably will. and i'm glad he's doing the address. i'm committed to his re-election and i'm glad he's doing this address. i just believe that in the future it is imperative that we consult first and act second except in an emergency. and again, it wasn't so emergent they couldn't wait to go to the u.n., which they should have, but i think there should have been a simultaneous discussion with the u.s. congress. imagine how we would all feel if
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god forbid a republican president were elected and he or god forbid she decided to attack north korea because kim jong il is brutalizing his people without consulting the congress. i'm afraid that precedent that is being established here. >> would it bother you should there be a satisfying resolution to all of this, it does not last very long, might everyone be saying, i'm glad we went? >> well, look, i'm glad that anytime there is a cessation of suffering for innocent the people. but the question becomes what's next and what have we accomplished if the rebel government instead of gadhafi? there may be a coaching argument that it does. i just haven't heard it yet. >> okay. robert andrews, thank you so much. >> thank you. a new crackdown today as more protests spread acrosshe wold. have rorcoming
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MSNBC News Live
MSNBC March 26, 2011 8:00am-9:00am EDT

News/Business. Live news coverage, breaking news and current news events. New.

TOPIC FREQUENCY Gadhafi 34, U.s. 18, Nato 14, Libya 12, America 9, Ajdabiya 9, Yemen 8, Amanda Knox 7, U.n. 5, Us 5, Washington 3, Tokyo 3, Obama 3, Allegra 3, United States 3, Campbell 3, Nbc 3, Michelle Bachmann 3, Illinois 2, Keith 2
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on 5/24/2011